Arizona Lifts Turf Paradise Racetrack Quarantine

The Arizona Department of Agriculture lifted its quarantine of Turf Paradise Racetrack, in Phoenix, on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.

Arizona animal health authorities implemented the quarantine on Jan. 28 after three horses arrived from Dona Ana County, New Mexico, where veterinarians had diagnosed 74 horses with equine herpesvirus (EHV) earlier that month. One of the three Turf Paradise horses that came from New Mexico developed the neurologic form of EHV and was euthanized.

Arizona authorities lifted the quarantine following an investigation and the determination that no other horses were affected by the virus.

“We ordered the quarantine to protect Arizona horses from a potentially deadly disease,” said Mark Killian, director of Arizona Department of Agriculture. “While these restrictions seem severe, they were absolutely necessary and, as intended, successful.”

The New Mexico Livestock Board quarantined several locations, but the three horses transported to Turf Paradise left New Mexico before authorities put the restrictions in place. According to a statement by Arizona veterinary health authorities, the state-enacted 21-day quarantine, which included strict biosecurity measures, prevented EHV spread, with no other horses showing signs of infection or illness.

“The hard work of Turf Paradise management has prevented this isolated case from becoming an outbreak,” said Susan Gale, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM, Arizona’s acting state veterinarian. “The quick action of the state and cooperation of Arizona horsemen, the Racing Commission, and the track were key to our success.”

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